Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP), a £1.8bn (€2bn) UK-focused asset manager created by and for pension funds, is to be acquired by Foresight Group, an infrastructure and private equity manager.

The transaction, which follows a ”competitive process run by the PIP board”, involves the entire PIP team transferring to Foresight. Paula Burgess, CEO of PIP, will become a partner of Foresight.

The acquisition will take Foresight’s assets under management to £6.5bn. 

PIP was set up in 2013 under the leadership of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association in collaboration with major UK asset owners. It is backed by the British Airways pension scheme, Pension Protection Fund, Railpen and local government pension schemes Strathclyde and West Midlands. 

PIP said the integration into Foresight would give it access to “deeper resources” for it, and meant broader infrastructure exposure for Foresight.

“This combination means the PIP team can continue to work with UK pension funds while bringing additional skills and resources to bear and attracting more investment as part of a larger platform,” said Burgess.

Nigel Aitchison, partner and head of infrastructure at Foresight, said: “The skills of the PIP team will further strengthen the depth and breadth of our specialist infrastructure presence and Foresight’s position as a leading infrastructure manager. We look forward to welcoming the PIP team to the Group.”

Tony Poulter, chair of PIP, said PIP’s board was very happy with the outcome. 

“This transaction strengthens both PIP and Foresight and gives investors very good reasons to consider the combined infrastructure team for both new investment and asset management,” he said.

Since authorisation in 2016, PIP has established a portfolio of 17 assets, mostly through its multi-strategy fund, covering the energy from waste, renewables, social and transport sections. The portfolio has a net asset value of more than £700m, it said.

The acquisition is expected to complete in about a month.

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